The First Poem

Friday, October 16, 2015

As much as women do, men are known for their loyalty towards best friends. We say “sisters before misters”, they say “bros before hoes”. They called it brotherhood, when we called it sisterhood. I myself have witnessed the strength of men’s friendship. Best friends, for some people, they’re more than just a second family, but the family indeed. Best friends are home; the ones who are there to make us through all the hurdles in this harsh life; the ones who laugh and cry with us; the ones whom we share our mindless dreams and deepest fears; the ones whom we converse, argue, talk to, even fight with. Best friends are soul mates; the ones who understand even our lamest joke; the ones who accept even our quirkiest personality; the ones who stand by us during our glory and ugly days; the ones who actually never leave even after a farewell. Today’s song for Male Special Part 2: Ways of Being A Man is a song about friendship dedicated to the dearest friend, performed by Shin Sung Woo, titled “The First Poem (서시)”.

I try to leave before the sunset, into that scenery of a hill where you and I once stood. The place where once, with a heart of children, we dreamed and talked about the world. And now you have to leave on a journey, my dear friend.” –Shin Sung Woo, The First Poem (서시)

“The First Poem (서시)” was first released in 1994, performed by Korean rocker and actor, Shin Sung Woo. It was served as the lead single from Shin’s third studio album, “Prologue”. The English translation for the song’s title is also known as “Soft”.
Lyrically, “The First Poem (서시)” speaks about bid a farewell to our dearest friend who’s about to leave the town for another place far away. People come and go, indeed, but I believe true friends are staying, even if it’s only in the heart. When the goodbye is coming near, sometimes we can’t help but going back to places where our moments leave traces; memorable places, which forever will remind us of the togetherness we’ve had. “I try to leave before the sunset, into that scenery of a hill where you and I once stood. The place where once, with a heart of children, we dreamed and talked about the world. And now you have to leave on a journey, my dear friend.” Thing about bidding a farewell to our friends is, we can’t completely being sad about it, because it’s not letting go, it’s just saying a goodbye for the moment, until we meet again. Instead, we feel glad, because we know, they leave to pursue their dreams; dreams we’ve always talked about, for greater adventure, for better days to come, for a new story to share.
“We often argued due to pieces of misunderstanding we got towards each other. But, only with our awkward smiles, in those countless memories you could become me and I could become you.” True friends get through everything together; laughing at unfunny jokes, arguing over simple things, throwing sarcasm jokes toward each other, fight over unimportant things. Those are things that strengthen our friendship. Beyond that, we understand each other, through the heart-to-heart talking we always do, that whenever they’re looking for home, we’re always here, and so they are for us. Saying goodbye is just a part of growing up. We’ll meet again with different stories to tell, perhaps we’ll change in some way. However, deep inside we know, our hearts will never change. Our jokes will still be the same. We’ll smile, and hug it out. “I will always stand here, so you can look at me whenever you were tired from walking. I will paint it on those stars up there, so you could see how much my loving heart for you.”
First time I recognized “The First Poem (서시)” was on an episode of “Roommate”, when Shin and male members of the show sang it during an after-dinner scene. I fell for it in an instance after listening to the original song. It’s a heartfelt rock ballad; always gorgeous.

We often argued due to pieces of misunderstanding we got towards each other. But, only with our awkward smiles, in those countless memories you could become me and I could become you.” –Shin Sung Woo, The First Poem (서시)




“Haega jigi jeone garyeohaetji neowa naega itdeon geu eondeok punggyeong soge
(I try to leave before the sunset, into that scenery of a hill where you and I once stood)
Aju kijageun geu maeumeuro sesangeul kkumkkugo geurimyeo malhaetdeon geot
(The place where once, with a heart of children, we dreamed and talked about the world)
Ije yohaengeul tteonaya haneun sojunghan nae chinguyo
(And now you have to leave on a journey, my dear friend)
Ttaeron datugido mani haetji seoro alsu eomneun ohaeye jeogakdeullo
(We often argued due to pieces of misunderstanding we got towards each other)
Hajiman motjogeun misomaneuro
(But, only with our awkward smiles)
Neoneun naega dwaego nado naega dwaelsu isseotdeon sumaneun giokdeul
(In those countless memories, you could become me and I could become you)

Naega hangsang yeogi seoisseulge geotdaga jichin niga nareul bol su itge
(I will always stand here, so you can look at me whenever you were tired from walking)
Jeogi jeobyeol wie geurilkkeoya naega neol saranghaneun maeum bolsu itge
(I will paint it on those stars up there, so you could see how much my loving heart for you)”

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